Washington, D.C. - The U.S. House of Representatives today passed the South Carolina Peanut Parity Act, a critical piece of legislation introduced by Congressman Joe Wilson (SC-02), that would grant South Carolina representation on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Peanut Standards Board.
“I am grateful for House passage of the Peanut Parity Act,” said Congressman Wilson. “South Carolina is the fourth largest peanut producing state, and our farmers deserve a voice on the Peanut Standards Board. This bill will finally give them that voice.”All members of the South Carolina delegation are co-sponsors of the legislation.
In the 2002 Farm Bill, the U.S. Department of Agriculture established the Peanut Standards Board, a board that advises the Secretary of Agriculture and Department on peanut quality and handling standards. The board consists of 18 members who represent three regions: the Southeast (Alabama, Florida, and Georgia), the Southwest (New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas), and Virginia/North Carolina. Each region is represented with three producer seats and three industry representative seats, and members serve staggered three year terms. By law, members of the Peanut Standards Board must be from a state in one of the three designated regions.
South Carolina farmers produce over eight percent of the nation’s peanuts. As a state, South Carolina is the fourth largest peanut producing state. The boiled peanut was designated by the state legislature as South Carolina’s official state snack in 2006.
Below is a video of the congressman discussing the Peanut Parity Act on the floor of the House: